Ohio legislators are currently introducing a new vaping tax which has many worried about its full impact.
As vaping has continued to grow into a massively influential industry, there’s been no shortage of ways legislators have attempted to regulate things adequately. One common issue revolves around different methods of taxing vaping products.
Many places have decided to take the easy way out and simply apply existent smoking taxes onto vaping products. While this is far from an ideal situation, other legislatures have gone even further and aim to introduce vaping taxes which take things even further.
Ohio appears to be the latest state heading down this path. Their budget proposal includes a new vaping tax which experts believe could destroy the vaping industry there. As you can imagine, the news has received plenty of negative responses from the vaping community, mainly blasting the misguided logic.
Meanwhile, anti-vapers are celebrating the latest proposal for finally getting the vaping products tax included in the state’s budget proposal. Only time will tell how much of this latest proposal becomes law, but experts are split on the outlook.
Another Misguided State
It’s actually a very odd situation which has led to this new vaping tax proposal. Instead of going through the usual channels of implementing a stand-alone bill, legislators in Ohio are attempting to circumvent this by adding the tax as part of the new budget.
Experts believe this could be a big problem, since it’s generally much more difficult to get a budget proposal changed than it is to repeal an unpopular stand-alone bill. It seems the state Senate knew how unpopular the vape tax would be and purposefully opted for this route. In fact, the state House and Governor were not involved in this new vaping tax at all.
The bill itself would place a hefty $0.10 per milliliter tax on wholesale e-liquids. While this may not seem so bad at first glance, it’s important to note how it translates. A fee of just $0.05 per milliliter equates to about a 50% increase in total cost, making the $0.10 tax akin to a 100% increase in the price of vaping.
Making matters worse, the original proposal was only supposed to place a 17% tax on vaping products, instead of the $0.10 per milliliter. These extra costs will likely lead to the closure of many of the over 600 vape shops across the state. Not only that, but the ones who can remain open will have to pass the drastically increased costs off onto the consumer.
What’s The Problem
Many people still don’t fully understand the benefits of vaping, and it really starts to have an impact on the conversation. The truth is, we have a growing pile of peer reviewed evidence which suggests not only is vaping an incredible harm reduction tool, but also an invaluable quit aid.
Back in 2015, we got our first extensive report from Public Health England, concluding the risk of vaping is around 95% less than continued smoking. Over the years we’ve gotten a lot more evidence supporting these claims. This includes a report from Roswell Park a few months back, which found the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke.
A report from the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods to determine the most likely to lead to a successful quit attempt. After collecting all their data, the team found that not only is vaping an effective tool, but it’s actually more likely to work than anything else.
However, for many, the main reason to restrict vaping is the supposed impact they’re having on the youth. Luckily massive reports have found these fears are overblown. In fact, a report of over 60,000 teens from Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than once or twice.
It’s a real shame that so many places choose to regulate vaping in such a misguided way. We have plenty of evidence at this point suggesting not only is vaping safer than smoking, but it offers incredible smoking cessation value.
If we don’t do everything we can to stop it now, we may soon wake up in a world in which we can barely recognize vaping anymore. Legislators around the world want to reign in vaping without even understanding their value, and we must do what we can to stop them.
That’s why it’s so important we talk to all the smokers in our lives about what vaping could do for them. The more support we have, the better we can fight back against unfair taxes like these.
What do you think about the vaping tax proposal in Ohio? How can we best support the vaping industry moving forward? What was the most crucial part about vaping for you? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.